Food allergies barely existed 40 years ago, yet today approximately one in 10 adults and one in 12 children are living with food allergies, according to new adult prevalence data published by The Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open and childhood data published by Pediatrics. These studies found that more than 50 percent of adults and 42 percent of children with food allergies have suffered a severe food allergy reaction such as potentially life threatening anaphylaxis.
End Allergies Together (E.A.T.), a non-profit organization that solely funds research for the growing food allergy epidemic affecting approximately 32 million Americans, will host its inaugural greater Boston fundraising event “An Evening to EAT” on Thursday, May 2 at the Wellesley Country Club. E.A.T. was co-founded in 2015 by Wellesley residents Elise and Greg Bates, whose daughter is severely allergic to eggs and nuts, to help bridge the significant gap in research funding for this growing epidemic. The evening will honor entrepreneur and food allergy advocate Matt Bomes with the Courage Award, while popular Boston radio host and TV personality Candy O’Terry will serve as host. The fundraiser includes cocktails, dinner and a live auction.
Proceeds from the evening’s event will go towards E.A.T.’s new initiative, the E.A.T. $1 Million Anaphylaxis Challenge to the scientific community to accelerate or discover novel ways to detect, prevent or better treat anaphylaxis. According to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, “Anaphylaxis represents one of the most urgent of medical emergencies, in which rapid diagnosis and prompt and appropriate treatment can mean the difference between life and death.”
Bomes experienced his first allergic reaction to a candy bar with nuts when he was in fourth grade, while watching a Wellesley High School football game. Diagnosed as severely allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame seeds, he has since developed additional allergies to chickpeas, and red-skinned fruits, as well as Food-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis (FDEIAn). He has suffered anaphylaxis 16 times. Now at age 24, he founded a solutions-oriented lifestyle brand called Bantam, dedicated to empowering allergy families. His company is building a digital community to serve as the central hub for allergy information, education and product essentials, with a unique community-building strategy that provides direct access to patients and their families.
Candy O’Terry’s voice is one of the most recognizable in Boston, after spending 25 years as a radio personality/host on Magic 106.7, as well as the creator and co-host of the Exceptional Women radio show, 16 Life Lessons and the weekly podcast series The Story Behind Her Success. O’Terry recently profiled Bates about what it means to have a child with food allergies who is constantly vulnerable to potentially life-threatening perils, and what E.A.T. is doing to help find cures [listen here]. The president and co-founder of Boston Women in Media & Entertainment, O’Terry is also the recipient of 45 local and national awards for excellence in women’s programming.
Tickets start at $250 for individuals; $3,500 for tables. To purchase Tickets online, please visit: EATGalaMA.givesmart.com. For more information regarding the organization itself, please visit EndAllergiesTogether.com.